Joseph Haydn - Cello Concertos in C & D; Sinfonia Concertante (1998)
Steven Isserlis, cello; The Chamber Orchestra of Europe; Sir Roger Norrington, conductor
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 358 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 196 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: RCA Red Seal | # 09026 68578 2 | Time: 01:15:22
What a versatile artist Steven Isserlis is. Having made his name as a sympathetic interpreter of a wide variety of romantic and modern music, here he shows he can be just as persuasive in eighteenth-century repertoire. His stylistic awareness is evident in beautiful, elegant phrasing, selective use of vibrato and varied articulation, giving an expressive range that never conflicts with the music’s natural language. In the cello concertos he is helped by an extremely sensitive accompaniment, stressing the chamber musical aspects of Haydn’s pre-London orchestral writing. The soft, intimate sonority at 3'06'' in the first movement of the D major is a typical example. The Adagios are taken at a flowing speed, but Isserlis’s relaxed approach means they never sound hurried. The Allegro molto finale of the C major Concerto, on the other hand, sounds poised rather than the helter-skelter we often hear. In his understanding of the music, Isserlis is a long way ahead of Han-na Chang, whose version places the emphasis on fine, traditional-style cello playing. Mork’s vivacious, imaginative performances characterize the music very strongly, but my preference would be for Isserlis’s and Norrington’s lighter touch and greater refinement.